Board votes against officers in schools - FOX 13 News

Board votes against officers in schools

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A plan to put armed security officers at every elementary school in Hillsborough County was nixed Tuesday.

School board members called it a knee-jerk reaction and voted against implementing the policy.

However, they did decide to hire a consultant to take a closer look at school security and what can be done about it.

But the majority of the school board meeting focused on how to better help special needs children – and whether blame for the death of a young girl should go higher up the leadership ladder.

The board agreed with the superintendent's recommendations, firing two special-needs aides who were supposed to be watching Jenny Caballero when she wandered away from a gym class and drowned at her school.

They also voted to demote both the school's principal and assistant principal, who plans to fight the demotion.

Some parents who were at the meeting say that's not enough, and they think the superintended of schools, Mary Ellen Elia, should be punished.

"I was really struck by how little training the staff had," said special needs advocate Jose Colindres. "How little training, how little direction, no expectations for what they're jobs really were, and that's even leading up to the administrators."

Some school board members also questioned whether there should be more disciplinary action.

But in the end nothing else was done. Several board members took some of the blame, calling for an entire overhaul of the program.

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